It Has Always Been Him Calling to Me

I asked God to give me something to share with a beautiful, familiar group of women. I would soon have the opportunity to speak to them and I wanted to leave something inspirational, something worthy of remembering, in their hearts. I’m not a speaker. My mind seems to forget everything I want to say when I want to say it. So, every time this type of thing comes along, I plead with God. Less of me, more of You.

He quickly dropped “I Will Enter His Gates” in my heart.  I sang it for a week and nothing I conjured up came together in the beautiful way I had imagined. Maybe he wants me to talk about this or that…. No, that’s not it, again and again. I crumbled up papers and deleted notes on my phone. 

I woke up at 5am Sunday morning, the day of the event, with a reason. The song I had been singing was a song I loved when I was a child, a song from our hymn book. It was a memory I needed to unwrap.

This is a small part of my story. But, you all have a story like this, a story of how god has always been calling out to you.

When I was born, my parents weren’t christians. We were lost. What was it that brought us to him? I was five and I remember. I remember the tiny churches in the country. I remember the open arms and the looks on their faces. They knew my mom was coming home. But, my father, they were working so hard. They visited him in the hospital when he almost died. They spent hours and hours there. The preacher prayed over him when he was asleep for a month. He prayed when my dad didn’t know us. He even stayed when he woke up and lead him to Jesus. I was five and I knew my dad had died but God woke him up because he was so close. He was close to finally winning his soul. Maybe the accident would show him how far God had gone to save him?

fullsizerender-11

(Picture of dad and the preacher about 1.5 years after his accident when he was walking again)

Dad recovered at home and we went to church. They sang “At the Cross”and “Victory in Jesus.” They worked tirelessly.  They cried when my momma cried. They threw baby showers when my sister was born. There were so many embraces. They sang “Jesus Loves Me” and lead the crafts in Sunday school. They cared when we didn’t come. 

fullsizerender-12 fullsizerender-8

(My mom at my sister’s baby shower at the small church in the country)

Family reunions when I was 8 and 10 and 12, my uncle sang “Amazing Grace” with a guitar under the trees. They all stopped. All those people, 100 of them, stopped and felt him. The music, the prayer, it begged us to notice.  He was there, calling to them too. I remember looking around and seeing that they all noticed Jesus was there too.

Then, when I was 15, I gave my heart to Jesus. Those people actually had the guts to come and get me from my seat. They knew so much about me. More than I had told them. Their eyes said it all. But, I had been hiding. Hang out with us. We’ve got this thing called The Holy Spirit and you need it too. That’s when I decided. All those years, all that work and I finally said it out loud. Although, I had known long, long before that I could never live without Jesus. He would always be home, my resting place.

When my mom  almost gave up on people and stopped going to church, it was me that begged. If we don’t have them, what hope do we have? Those people, the church, they are Jesus. We can’t hold on to him alone. She listened.

It was always him calling me, following me, loving me.  He worked hard to keep my attention. From my earliest memory until right now, it has always been him.

We are the church. We are those baby showers, the embraces, the workers. We are the ones that sing songs and cut and glue in the classrooms. We are Jesus in the flesh.

fullsizerender-10

(Me around 1988 singing songs about Jesus)

When I asked God for something this week, he took his time and showed me something profound. The pulling, the tugging, the noticing, the calling, it was always him. From my earliest memory until this very moment. The entire thing, its been a journey towards him.  Just like it has been for you.

As we enter into the holidays thankful hearts, may it be full of those moments in time that cause you to notice. He’s been calling to all of us since the very beginning. Through music, prayer, love, embraces, pain and everything in between, it’s been him all along. He is the hope that shines in dark places. He is the joy that comes in the morning. He is everywhere, in everything. He has always been, and he will always be. 

Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

 

2nd & 5th Grade Curriculum Choices 2016

(2nd Grade)

1. Language Arts:  

Grammar & Composition: Rod and Staff English 2 with Phonics workbook

Reading and Vocabulary: Rod and Staff Reading / A Story about God’s People

Spelling: All About Spelling – Level 2 & start Level 3

Grammar: First Language Lessons  – Level 2

Composition: Winning with Writing – Level 2

Literature: 20-30min each day (Choose from book list)

2. Math:

Saxon Math 2

3. History:

Story of the World: Middle Ages Level 2 + activity book + read aloud CD set 

4. Typing:

Typing Instructor

5. Science: (Astronomy & Earth Science) 

Real Science 4 Kids Geology with lab workbook

Real Science 4 Kids Astronomy with lab workbook

6. Cursive Handwriting:

Handwriting Without Tears

7. Music:

Piano lessons

8. Bible:

Daily scripture copy work, memorization, and recitation

9. Art

Art Creations Elementary Art Class

…………………………………………

(5th Grade)

1. Language Arts

 Grammar & Composition: Rod and Staff English 5

Reading and Vocabulary: Rod and Staff Reading / A Time to Plant 

Spelling: All About Spelling – Level 5

Composition: Winning with Writing – Level 5

Logic: Mind Benders – Level 3

Literature: 30 min-1hr each day (Choose from book list)

2. Math

Horizons Math: Level 5

3. History

The Story of the World: Ancient Times Volume 1

4. Science: Astronomy & Earth Science

Real Science 4 Kids Geology with lab workbook

Real Science 4 Kids Astronomy with lab workbook

5. Cursive Handwriting

(Daily cursive sentence copy work and reading cursive sentences aloud)

6. Music

Piano lessons

7. Typing 

Typing Instructor

8. Bible

Daily scripture copy work, memorization, and recitation

9. Art

Art Creations Elementary Art Class

When God Says “You’re Welcome”

92db0cf5a2b6e5fff55aa653f2fd1151

THERE it is… THAT moment again. The one where God shows me that He is absolutely real. The moment when I pray and I feel him. Mostly, it’s when I thank him. Oh, how he rushes over me. So often, I think “Did that just happen?” Did I just feel God’s presence with me? Can we replay that because it was amazing?! It couldn’t be emotions.  I’ve replayed it over and over. I am happy at times. I am sad and overwhelmed sometimes too, but I never feel that. I might jump up and down when something makes me feel excited and thankful. But, I don’t feel that. It’s when I talk to Christ. That’s it. 

There has never been another sensation comparable in any way. I could turn inside-out with the thrill of it. It makes my heart feel like it could burst open with excitement. Usually, its head to toe goosebumps too and a quick rushing through my veins.  Really, there is no way to describe it appropriately. It’s like a drug. I need more of it. When you feel him, you KNOW it’s him. It is God almighty, the creator of the universe. His presence is made known and like no other.

This past week, I said “thank you” and there it was, rushing over me. That’s all it took, one simple  “Thank you.” No planning. Nothing strategic. Actually, it took me by surprise…. again.  It was like a GIGANTIC “You’re welcome,” right back at me. Ummm… can we repeat that God? Let me try that one more time. “THANK YOU… Darn!!” It didnt have the same effect the second time around. But, it was so good!

And every time it happens, I think to myself, but why? I’m so messed up, so sinful.  He loves even though I’m imperfect. How can this be? I surely didn’t deserve that. Regardless of the fact that I’ve made plenty of mistakes this week, he still made me aware that he was there, with me. It’s really fantastic and quite thrilling to know a God like this. There is no earning this type of love. He gives it away freely and unassuming. 
 

He Isn’t Like Us

IMG_5175 copy

He isn’t like us. He is loyal and covenant-keeping. He is merciful, gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. He forgives iniquity and transgression and sin. (Exod. 34: 5-7)

These are things I have to keep reminding myself when I don’t understand God. The Israelites lost faith, grumbled and built a golden calf. God remained merciful. His presence remained with them, despite their repeated offenses. He gave them another chance. Mercy and forgiveness to thousands.

Jesus sent to a growing world to show us the way. His body broken on the cross for our failures, for another chance. He gave and became our sacrifice forever and ever. Again, mercy and forgiveness to all.

“I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.” Jesus

He is loyal, committed and unchanging.

He isn’t like us. He doesn’t think like us. He remains focused and present at all times. We are vulnerable to sickness, death, persuasion, and weariness. We can’t see his interventions and protection. We can’t comprehend his goodness. Mostly, we aren’t grateful, whether from lack of knowledge or lack of understanding. We can’t see what is coming or all the ways he has shielded us and hovered over us.  Yet, he keeps going before us, continuously. We aren’t aware of all his workings but he continues. It’s the ultimate humility, the ultimate kind of love. Giving and protecting with no credit, no boasting or, in most cases, no recognition at all.

So, when I grumble, he remains. When I am lost for days upon days, he follows me into the darkness, searching out my heart. When I walk far away and his voice is no longer heard, his presence remains. When I think I don’t need him, he stays anyway. His love is not removed when I fail or doubt or blame or grow bitter. He isn’t like us. There is another chance. Mercy and forgiveness to us all forever and always.

-Margie